**** Given that Rafael Nadal is not playing the US Open he will not be ranked, but his 2012 position is either 3rd or 4th in my mind.
Dan Martin’s 2012 Power Ranking
US Open Edition
- Roger Federer – If anyone had told Roger Federer that 2012 would include a Wimbledon title, he likely would have taken that deal. Throw in 3 Masters 1000 titles, 2 other titles, a Silver Medal, a record-setting return to #1, and two Grand Slam semifinal finishes and 2012 has been a banner year for the 31 year old Swiss. Roger is likely feeling greedy though and sees a chance to add more history with a 6th US Open title as a real possibility.
- Novak Djokovic – Nole has won the previous 3 hard court Grand Slam titles and also won Miami and Montreal this year. Nole has defended all of his hard court points from the summer season of 2011 as well. His draw makes him the slight favorite to win the title as his path to the final is easier than Federer’s or Murray’s.
- Andy Murray – We have not seen a lot from him since winning Gold in London (not to mention a Silver in mixed doubles). Still, Murray has to have the best vibes he’s had heading into New York since 2008 or 2009.
- Juan Martin del Potro – Delpo knows what it takes to win in New York. As always his health is a concern, but the Argentine has some momentum from his Bronze Medal. I think Delpo will set up a massive quarterfinal with Nole.
- David Ferrer – Ferrer could carve out more for his legacy by making the final weekend at the US Open. He’s won 5 titles this year, and the one player he generally cannot grind down is not in the draw. On one hand, Ferrer is a great value pick as he is unlikely to beat himself; on the other hand, it is hard to envision him going beyond the quarters or semis.
- John Isner – He’s got a huge weapon in his serve. He has some momentum with 2 titles this summer. He has wins in 2012 over Nole and Federer. Still, I think his game has taken a step back from where it stood after Indian Wells and his Davis Cup heroics versus France. Isner needs to take advantage of this opportunity. Still, his positioning suggests just how shallow the field looks after Delpo.
- Tomas Berdych – Big Berd was having a nice season until his loss to JMDP in Paris. Since then it has been mostly downhill. If he gained some momentum from his showing in North Carolina, he could be a threat to go deep. I would not place too much faith in his chances.
- Richard Gasquet – His solid play in Montreal places him at #8 on my list. The last few months have helped to establish Gasquet as a credible player once again.
- Juan Monaco – He is a tough baseliner who won’t beat himself or get tired. That may be enough to reach the final 8.
- Nicolas Almagro – Nico has more firepower than Ferrer or Monaco. He has also tended to tighten up in big situations. Almagro may be the biggest beneficiary of Nadal being out as no matter how well he plays vs. Rafa he tends to tighten up at 4-4 or 5-5 in sets vs. Rafa.
*** Jo-Wilfried Tonga – If he is healthy, insert him ahead of Isner. I am just not sure how healthy he is.
I also think John Isner is the tennis equivalent of Marvel Comics’ Captain Britain who lost strength the further he got from British soil. Isner has done so well at places such as Newport, Atlanta, Houston, Winston-Salem, and Indian Wells that his lack of success in Melbourne and London has been strange. Throw in his solid play at the Olympic games and his stellar Davis Cup results this year and Isner seems to play like a top 10 player in the US or when playing for the US. When playing overseas outside of Davis Cup or Olympic competition, he looks more like a top 50 player.